Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Patrick’s Garden

Still at the orchid farm 
The garden is charming. Its management might be described as neglected, but this hides the artifice of its clever naturalistic management. Overlooking Funchal, the garden is crammed with beautiful temperate plants. Were it not for the lovely lady relaxed in her wicker-chair at a table on the lawn working on her computer, we could have believed we had been transported back a hundred years. It is the family’s own garden and although open to the public is in no way commercial. Our friend Cathi at home would die for the cakes!
Differential mowing provides a ground cover of grass under the plants


I love succulents and I fell in love with Agave attenuata, the swan neck agave, which might be described as a signature plant for Madeira in the month of January.



The monarch butterfly is a migratory species. It enjoys Madeira so much that its stays here all year round

Passion flowers thrive
 This agave makes a fine garden ornament. It is as dead as a dodo…..
...its very hard wood makes a beautiful ‘boat’ for native flowers displayed at our hotel
Poinsettia makes a permanent long flowering shrub
Cassia didymobotrya The popcorn plant. Brush you hand through the leaves and it smells of popcorn.






15 comments:

  1. Beautiful coloured flowers but I couldn't spot the lady in the wicker chair.

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    1. No Sue, It was one of those atmospheric photos I forgot to take. (In fact the lady offered to move aside so I could take my photos-idiot me I did not take a picture of her!)

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  2. In a word - Heaven! So many beautiful plants Roger - thanks for blogging :)

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    1. That's one of the nicest things you could say Angie

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  3. Really fabulous plants, especially the Agave attenuata - I had no idea there were agaves that looked like that!

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    1. I have fallen in love with this agave myself, I have another nice picture of it coming up on my next post!

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  4. Wow. Those Agave plants are very cool.

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    1. My favourite picture was the one with the agave and aloe in today's post

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  5. Have just found you from another blog list and these photos are quite a coincidence as I've just come back from Gran Canaria where I saw lots of the same plants in the wild and Botanical Garden.From your captions I now know what Cassia Didymobotrya and Agave Attenuata are!My latest blog post links through to my photo album.
    The blossom on the almond trees in the mountains is spectacular in January.
    Madeira is a wonderful place and I'll be visiting there again soon.I love the paths that go through the small holdings and plots which I find an inspiration for growing veg on my allotment.

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    1. Hello Shinny, I have just returned from a Levada walk.These are the irrigation 'canals' that meander through the hills providing water for all the plantations on the steep hillsides. As you probably know they take you on a nearly level walk through small holdings and plots. Many of the hillside terraces are being reclaimed by families- sadly partly as a result of the recession.

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    2. Hello Roger, yes it seems that better use is being made of any available land on Madeira by comparison to the Canaries.On recent trips to La Palma and La Gomera I've seen lots of overgrown plots which would be in cultivation on Madeira.
      The Madeiran lavada system also seems to be quite sophisticated,whereas on the Canaries there's a lot more use made of exposed pipework.
      PS Levadas aren't all level ,try Levada da Negra which goes from near the Poco da Neve (ice house) down to Barreira at the top of Funchal,it's a very good walk.

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    3. We walked another levada today. I think some folk might like a picture of one on my last post from Maderia on Sunday

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  6. Fab pic of the Monarch!

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  7. Hi
    Lovely photos, really warmed me up. It looks like a fab trip

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    1. Coming home on Sunday. I could have managed another week! There is a lot to blog about here!

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